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Delhi chokes as air pollution levels hit a three­-year high

  • Pollution levels in Delhi peaked to a three­-year high on Sunday, prompting hundreds of distraught people to take to social media to say they wanted to leave the city because of poor air quality.
  • According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the national capital’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 494 at 4 p.m. on Sunday, the highest since November 6, 2016, when it was 497.
  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said the city’s overall AQI reached as high as 708 around 5 p.m., which is 14 times the safe level of 0­-50.

 

NRC exercise only to update 1951 list: CJI

  • Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said on Sunday that the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) process, meant to identify illegal migrants residing in the border State, was “neither a new or novel idea” but only an attempt to update the 1951 list.
  • Chief Justice Gogoi, who is retiring on November 17, headed the Special Bench of the Supreme Court that monitored the process.
  • The court’s intervention led to the publication of the final citizenship list on August 31.

 

‘More countries are regulating and banning e­-cigarettes’ 

  • V­-P of Vital Strategies, a global public health organisation, says comprehensive ban imposed in India will help prevent its use among the youth.
  • In the U.S., policymakers have tragically allowed e-­cigarette companies to foster a new generation of nicotine users who are now hooked to their products. The unregulated introduction of e-­cigarettes into the U.S. market has led to an epidemic of youth vaping, with a jump of 73% over a single year, undermining the decades ­long trend of reduction in tobacco use, particularly among youth.
  • We commend the Government of India for taking decisive action to protect youth from e­-cigarettes. We hope the comprehensive ban on the sale, manufacture, import and advertising of e­-cigarettes will help prevent its rising use among youth, as we’ve seen in the U.S. and other countries.

 

Army to have first Dhanush regiment by March 2020 

  • The Army, which began inducting the indigenously upgraded Dhanush artillery guns, will have the first regiment in place by March 2020 and will get all 114 guns by 2022, Army sources said. Dhanush is the indigenously upgraded variant of the Swedish Bofors gun imported in the 1980s.
  • “The first regiment of 18 guns will be in place by March 2020. We will get another 36 guns by March 2021 and another 40 by March 2022. The entire order for 114 guns will be completed by 2022,” an Army source said.
  • Dhanush is a 155 mm, 45­-calibre towed artillery gun with a range of 36km and has demonstrated a range of 38 km with specialised ammunition. It is fitted with an inertial navigation system having global positioning system­-based gun recording and auto­-laying, an enhanced tactical computer for on-­board ballistic computations, an on­-board muzzle velocity recording, an automated gun sighting system equipped with camera, thermal imaging, and laser range finder.

 

ISRO’s NavIC set to be commercialised by Antrix

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its older commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd. are poised to commercialise India’s regional navigation satellite system, NavIC, with Antrix recently floating two separate tenders to identify industries that can develop dedicated NavIC-­based hardware and systems.
  • NavIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation) is the Indian system of eight satellites that is aimed at telling business and individual users where they are, or how their products and services are moving. The indigenous positioning or location based service (LBS) works just like the established and popular U.S. Global Positioning System or GPS, but within a 1,500­km radius over the sub-­continent.